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Is it worth considering new boots?

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
I've been away from skiing for a while (work, young kids and some laziness). Last year, I finally decided to get my kids skiing, and my enthusiasm returned immediately.

I have always been an aggressive skier; I prefer to stay in the bumps all day, but have never liked dedicated mogul skis, as I found them terrible when carving at high speeds. I've always used slalom skis (Blizzard Thermo SL, Dynastar S9 200cm). This year, I bought Volkl 6 stars (168), used them today and love them.

I continue to use my Lange TII boots from the late 1980's. I had them custom fitted at a shop in Vail (I forget the name), and, since then, I've absolutely loved them - I figured I'd take them to my grave with me as long as they were in one piece. However, people in ski shops tell me they're too stiff for the new shape skis. I didn't have any complaints using them with my new Volkls, but maybe I don't know any better. I did notice that I worked much harder in steep bumps with the short skis compared to my 200 cm Dynastars. I guess that seems counterintuitive.

Should I break away from my old Langes? If so, I have been thinking of Lange Comp 120s and Nordica's Beast/Speedmachine. I have a fairly narrow foot (10c), 5'11" 175lb. In the past, I always wanted Nordica Grand Prix's, but they never fit right (toe box was too wide). Any advice?
post #2 of 5
eugkim, welcome to EpicSki!

The TIIs can work well, but they are likely stiffer than you need and may actually overpower the 6*s depending on how you ski them. There may be some balance issues, as well, since formerly the boots helped you get out over the tips, and now you want to be more centered.

Go ahead and try the Beast/Speedmachine. Also, don't hesitate to try a Doberman, Rossi plug, Lange Plug, or even the Atomic RaceTec. Make sure you have a good fitter, however, and ideally one who will also balance you in the boots (there are a number here on the forum that have been recommended. In Colorado, try Jim Lindsay in Aspen or Jeff Bergeron in Breckenridge).
post #3 of 5
Also add the Head RD plug! Comes in 2 flexes for 2006!
post #4 of 5
Go for it.

I recently switched to softer boots (Solomon Crossmax 10s) from the
stiffest boots I could find circa 20 years ago. Overall, I am pleased with the results.

With too-stiff boots, you won't be flexing your ankles properly except at very fast speeds. You will be compensating for this by moving other parts of your body. With softer boots, you can use ankle flex to absorb some of the shock of terain changes; they act like shock absorbers (dampers). Allowing some flex does delay the full force of your actions from reaching the skis, particularly when you are driving in a front tip, but so long as you stick to a relatively stiff modern boot, (flex index 100 or greater) you should be ok. The modern-sidecut ski's don't need as much "bending" as older skis needed to launch quick sharp turns. Lateral stiffness is still there in modern boots for putting the skis on edge.

With a softer boot there is a bit of lost "instant direct contact", but it's not really an issue; fractons of a second may have mattered to me when I was speed-skiing recklessly, but for any sane skier (I got better (sounding like Monty Python former Newt), the gains in "suspension", and the ability to use better technique are worth it.
post #5 of 5
Is it worth considering new boots?
With boots more than 15 years old, definitely YES.
Much has already been said. The liner materials have made much progress and together with new shells (although especially plugs are not much different) the result must be worth the change.
IMHO, too many people stick with their old "comfortable" boots - often just for fear to jump into a new adventure with some new ones.
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